Committee on Finance. - Nomination of Member of the Government.

With the approval of the House, I should like to move the following motion:—

That Dáil Éireann approves of the nomination by the Taoiseach of Deputy Michael Keyes to be a member of the Government.

When the President has appointed Deputy Keyes, after approval has been given by the House to this motion, I propose to assign the Department of Local Government to Deputy Keyes and to terminate the assignment of the Department of Local Government to the Tánaiste which, as a temporary measure, I made last week.

Mr. de Valera

I do not propose to oppose the nomination by the Taoiseach of Deputy Keyes as a member of the Government. I think, at the same time, that the appointment of a member of the Government—a Minister—is a very serious matter for the Dáil and, although we have given way to permit this motion to be introduced with practically no notice, I would like that it should not be by any means regarded as a precedent. It is right that members of the House should know beforehand who is the person to be proposed. I know that is not possible sometimes. At the beginning, when a new Government is being formed, I am not sure whether notice can be given, but I feel that it is only right that members of the Dáil should, in general, know in advance so as to be able to appraise the abilities of the person proposed and his suitability as a Minister.

The Taoiseach has not indicated how this proposal comes to be urgent or why notice could not have been given. Surely, he should have known in advance that it was proposed to make this appointment and it should have been possible to give us the name in advance. I think the Taoiseach should have informed us as to why this is considered so urgent and why the ordinary procedure could not have been followed.

I appreciate the points that Deputy de Valera has mentioned. In all the circumstances, I think that the procedure adopted would not normally be followed, but I was anxious that there should be no speculation about names or no bandying about who was entitled to the position or anything of that kind. If the Deputy had intimated that he had any objection to the motion, I would have put it down in the ordinary way. That was why this procedure was adopted. I was anxious to have it done quickly. The Ceann Comhairle said it could have been put on the Order Paper for tomorrow, but if the Opposition agreed it could be done in the manner in which it is being done. The Opposition would have been consulted and if members of the Party had expressed any disagreement or disapproved of the motion, I would not have insisted on it. I can assure Deputies that this will not be regarded as a precedent.

Question agreed to.